For the first time, a network of satellites will provide instantaneous projections of precipitation every three to four hours over 90 percent of the globe. NASA's newly-developed GPM project comprises a network, or "constellation," of nine internationally coordinated satellites that provide highly accurate and advanced precipitation measurements on a global scale from space. Used for a variety of scientific and societal applications, the mission delivers for the first time instantaneous projections of rain and snow patterns every three to four hours over 90 percent of the globe. It also enhances the way precipitation is observed in remote and complex regions of the world, including developing countries where detection is minimal.
The GPM mission serves to increase understanding of water and energy cycles, improve forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters, and extend capabilities of using this information to benefit society and the water sector, according to GPM's website. Further, it can enable industry leaders to better quantify hydrologic impacts on their utilities and water resources, potentially leading to improved water conservation, pollution-prevention measures, water treatment methods, energy and cost savings, customer service, and operations.
GPM's ability to convey precipitation data in a new timely, accurate and widely extensive manner can, for example, help water or wastewater operators decide what, if any, modifications should be made to their treatment applications or water storage systems. It can also advise experts in the agricultural sector to determine how much water will be available for sufficient crop growth or livestock cultivation. Likewise, it can help municipalities direct their focus toward maintaining infrastructure integrity and improving stormwater management as a whole - ultimately reducing water pollution and improving overall water quality in receiving local waterbodies.